Dollar is slightly changed against a basket of currencies

The dollar was slightly changed against the basket of currencies in a thin holiday-impacted trading on Monday, while the jump in oil price on news that Washington would end the sanctions waivers for major Iranian oil importers increased the Canadian dollar and the Russian ruble.

The dollar index measuring the greenback against 6 major currencies, was 0.15% lower at 97.327. The index reached a 2-week high of 97.485 late last week.

Against the Japanese yen the dollar was about flat, while the euro was 0.06% higher against the greenback.

The financial markets in Australia, Hong Kong and many major countries in Europe are closed on Monday for the Easter holiday. Currency trading continues globally, but volume is expected to be light.

“With much of the market still out on Easter and Passover related holidays there is not a whole lot to chew on to start the week,” said Brad Bechtel, global head of FX at Jefferies, in New York.

Greenback has found support in recent weeks on the back of a gradual increase in US 10-year Treasury yields and signs of strength in the global top economy, including better-than-expected retail sales in March after a weak start of the year.

Traders will be keenly watching the U.S. GDP report due Friday for further clues on the health of the U.S. economy, analysts said.

On Monday, crude oil prices were the biggest driving force in currency markets, analysts said.

Brent crude topped $74 a barrel on Monday, the highest since November, as the White House said US President Donald Trump has decided to remove all the waivers issued to eight economies that allowed them to buy Iranian oil without facing sanctions in the United States.

With the jump in the price of oil, one of Canada’s major exports, the Canadian dollar rose 0.2% against its U.S. counterpart.

The ruble reached its highest level against the euro since April last year and one month peak against the dollar on Monday.
The sterling was lower at $1.2982, falling below the $1.30 handle and around 0.4% of the two-month low of $1.2945 reached last month. Now the currency is at its least volatile in years, as investors expect a breakthrough in the divorce process of the British European Union.
Source: Reuters